Guess That Lonely Heart: Jaded and Plucky, Sitting in a Tree

It’s time for Guess That Lonely Heart, a game from way-back-when, where I give you the plot of a romance in the disguise of a lonely heart ad, and you tell me the heroine’s name, the title of the book, and the author’s name. The first to correctly name all three wins a patented, often coveted but never imitated (at least not that I’m aware of) Smart Bitch Title™, crafted lovingly by yours truly with that tricky Smart Bitch Technology (better known as “Photoshop.”)

Get ready, get set, and Guess that Lonely Heart.

Plucky, innocent and educated country miss miss seeks a jaded, titled man who is bored by everything, impressed with little, but not so morally bankrupt that he’d sleep with his mother’s lover’s wife, even if she’s naked and begging and he’s a randy teenager. Thank God. That would be a little too much. Must be passionate, sexually amazing, and possessing of that secret sensitivity that a plucky, innocent and educated miss like me would seek out like a homing missile, even when we’re both up to our ears in some ton scandal or other.

First to identify that lonely heart, the book and the author wins!

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General Bitching...

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  1. 1
    Brooks*belle says:

    No idea.  But now I know what I want to read this weekend!

  2. 2
    EliG says:

    The whole sitting is a tree thing may be leading me astray but is it Ellie from Julia Quinn’s Brighter Than the Sun?

  3. 3
    Kim says:

    Is it Alexandra, in Something Wonderful, by Mcnaught?

  4. 4
    Sybylla says:

    Someone please get it soon!  I know I’ve read it and I’m drawing a complete blank.  This is worse than not being able to identify an earworm.

  5. 5
    tracykitn says:

    I’m with Sybylla—I *know* I’ve read it, but can’t for the life of me figure out what the heck it is!! And due to some recent home reorganization, my books are all topsy-turvy and I don’t feel like digging through everything trying to figure it ou….GOTTA get my shelves straightened out!

  6. 6
    Lina says:

    It’s Sabrina Jeffries _The Truth About Lord Stoneville_

    Am I right??

  7. 7
    Kate Pearce says:

    Friday’s Child? or was she sitting on a wall? I can’t remember.
    Georgette Heyer
    Hero is the heroine’s name

  8. 8
    Julie says:

    This is a tough one. I was wondering if it was Julia Quinn’s “The Duke and I”, and the lonely heart would be Daphne.

    Then I wondered if it was Loretta Chase’s “Lord of Scoundrels”, and the lonely heart would be Jessica.

    I know this plot. Identifying the heroine (our lonely heart, though,) is driving me nuts.

  9. 9
    Lina says:

    Oh, shoot, I think I’m wrong: in _Truth About Lord Stoneville_ he actually *does* sleep with Lilith as a teenager, who is his *father’s* mistress. So no abstaining.  Sheesh.

  10. 10
    Lovecow200 says:

    Early Amanda Quick:

    Seduction  
    —- Sophy Dorring
    Scandal
    —-Emily Faringdon
    Ravished
    —-Harriet Pomeroy
    Dangerous
    —-Prudence Merryweather

    Frankly the list of Quick books that fit this bill is extensive. ;)

  11. 11
    SB Sarah says:

    Kim nailed it! It is indeed Alexandra from Judith McNaught’s Something Wonderful.

    Stay tuned for coronation – and thanks for playing!!

  12. 12
    Madd says:

    Then I wondered if it was Loretta Chase’s “Lord of Scoundrels”, and the lonely heart would be Jessica.

    But … Dane’s mother died when he was about eight …

    Edit: Something Wonderful seemed likely to me, but I just wasn’t sure. Not that I came early enough to even be a contender, but I was still wracking my brain for the answer.

  13. 13
    John says:

    Woo to Judith McNaught.  Love that woman to death. 

    NOW I must read this book.

  14. 14
    Zoe Archer says:

    That was my guess, too, Kim!  For some damn reason, I know the hero’s full name by heart: Jordan Addison Matthew Townsend.  I can’t remember the capital of Laos, but I know that.  Education win.

  15. 15
    tubb says:

    I totally thought it was Venetia and Lord Damerel!

  16. 16
    Lorraine says:

    My first thought was Venetia, until I read

    but not so morally bankrupt that he’d sleep with his mother’s lover’s wife, even if she’s naked and begging and he’s a randy teenager.

    I have always wanted Dameral to have an orgy and strew rose petals for me..

  17. 17
    Merrian says:

    I thought of Venetia and Damerel as well….

  18. 18
    ashley says:

    wow lina i thought it was sabrina jeffries too clearly this is an oft used plot lol

  19. 19
    Maddie Grove says:

    This is the problem with reading so much Mary Balogh. Dude always sleeps with his dad’s mistress, or is rumored to have seduced his stepmother, or was fondled by his stepmother that one time. And then there’s that one where he walks in on his mom doing his fiancee’s dad. So Freudian.

    I thought of Lord Stoneville, too, except then I remembered that he DID sleep with his DAD’s mistress. It’s like a big awful secret, too. And there’s also that one where the hero sleeps with his grandfather’s mistress or something. Oy vey.

  20. 20
    Literary Slut Kilian says:

    I can see that my education has been sorely lacking in essentials.  Thanks to the smart bitches, I am rapidly catching up.

  21. 21
    Cakes says:

    Do you guys like Judith McNaught? I read Once and Always and couldn’t get past the two rapes and the monster/hero.  I never picked her up again. Are her other books different?

  22. 22
    Cornelia Dumitru says:

    I have to agree with those who vote for Judith McNaught’s Something Wonderful. The jaded was not so jaded and the most delicious scandal: extricating own wife from marriage to dear cousin. It’s a go for Alexandra and Jordan.
    P.S. Dear Cakes: I would definitely read Judith McNaught. And dare I say it?? Try to get over the cliche. WIth the risk of inflaming spirits: I’m not so sure ‘being politically correct’ in historical romance adds to their quality. Most often is a miss, as if you know bit of history, you are aware that trying this results in ‘reality humbug’. And Once and Always has one of the most cheesiest, wonderful, old school endings I’ve ever read.

  23. 23
    Bridget says:

    Cakes – So glad I’ve finally found someone who agrees with me about Judith McNaught! I have read most of her books and they do feel like a throwback – more than one instance of rape or damn close to it.

    Whitney My Love, for example – the plot had so much potential, but it was ruined for me not only by the rape scene (or near rape – I know there is debate over this scene, but if something like that happened to me I would be pressing charges) but also by the classic JMcN hero and heroine. The JMcN hero is typically older, handsome, rich, cynical, fairly nasty, prone to misjudging the heroine and being very domineering.

    The JMcN heroine is typically late teens/very early twenties, impressionable, ‘achingly beautiful’ (My God, if I had a dollar for every time I read that description…Frequent alternatives include ‘an innocent young goddess’ and ‘an intiguing/arousing mixture of child and woman’, bleuk), independent (for me, they came across at TSTL. Way to prolong the story much?) and is liked by most everyone except the hero, who thinks the worst of her for no apparant reason.

    After misjudging her he refuses to talk to her like a rational adult, leaps to the worst conclusion and while he may end up grovelling, it isn’t nearly enough. But don’t worry, his emotional and physical abuse is a sign of his True Love for her! She is Different To All Others!

    In case you can’t tell, I had a real problem with these books. I’m sorry if I’m offending a lot of JMcN fans out there but I stand by my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, some of her plot ideas were great, so great that part of me just likes to imagine how much better the books could have been if they had been written differently. And part of me just wants to throw the damn thing at the wall, quarter it, burn it and scatter the ashes.

  24. 24

    Oh, Judith McNaught. I wondered why that description sounded familiar!

    The first romance novel I ever read was Until You. I was eleven years old and she hooked me within the first few chapters; I ended up reading all her historicals over the course of a few weeks. Then, I reread all of them in college and was deeply disturbed by the rapey bits.

    That being said, there were moments in those books that were incredible. In spite of all the utter fail surrounding them.

  25. 25
    Kaetrin says:

    I adored Something Wonderful – It remains my favourite McNaught.  I realise she isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and some of her books did not work as well for me as others, but this one?  Excellent. (IMO)

    I still grin like a loon when I remember the scene where Jordan is explaining to Alex how babies are made and when he hesitates, she says (words to the effect of) “Oh, you don’t know either!”.

  26. 26
    Cakes says:

    hmmm… I appreciate the feedback. Perhaps I’ll try Something Wonderful at some point. But right now, I’m just not in the mood.  I just quit Heaven, Texas after the first chapter b/c the megalomaniacal hero was so completely unpalatable that the only appealing transformation of his character would have been into steaks on my grill.  And I usually love SEP.

  27. 27
    Colonel Angus says:

    The first time I read Something Wonderful I ate it up like it was going to self destruct. It embodies several themes that I look for in romance novels:
    cross-dressing, ugly duckling, jealousy, groveling (after the required asshatery), plucky heroine, interfering relatives, tomboys, unrequited love, and on and on and on.  I usually find myself rereading Judith McNaught books every couple of years when I find myself becoming crotchety and grumpy.
    Yes McNaught’s heroes are a bit high handed *cough* but they usually redeem themselves to everyones great pleasure.

  28. 28
    Steph says:

    definately would never have gotten this one, although I know several other plot lines that are close.  I have read ONE McNaught book and swore never to read another.  It was well written, interesting, time-travel, etc., but when the hero and heroine didn’t end up together…the book hit the wall.

  29. 29
    j says:

    Steph – which McNaught book has a H/h that don’t end up together???

  30. 30
    Kaetrin says:

    @j & @ Steph.  Yeah, I thought I’d read all of Judith McNaught’s list but I don’t remember one where there isn’t a HEA.  But then, I can’t remember a time travel McNaught either so…

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